Anne Lamott on writing and why perfectionism kills creativity

Just another reason why good or done is better than perfect. 

Winter salad with ahi from my favorite SoCal spot, Tender Greens. This article highlights some of what makes them cool: http://www.fastcompany.com/3004998/how-farm-table-restaurant-chain-tender-greens-sprouts-entrepreneurs

  1. Camera: HTC HD7

Weihnachtsmarkt at the Naturpark Spessart, Bavaria, Germany. 

  1. Camera: Nikon D40
  2. Aperture: f/3.5
  3. Exposure: 1/6th
  4. Focal Length: 18mm
"Your desk is for executing; do your thinking elsewhere."
— Justin Jackson

(Source: justinjackson.ca)

When we woke up this morning in Leipzig and it was snowing, Scott said “oh, it will all melt in a few hours.” This is what it looked like eight hours later. No, it did not melt. Yes, it kept snowing. And yes, it was completely magical. Much like the people here in Minneapolis, folks were still riding bikes in spite of the snow. 

  1. Camera: Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS
  2. Aperture: f/2.8
  3. Exposure: 1/20th
  4. Focal Length: 35mm
"Jill Kelley, a glamorous Florida socialite…"

- The Atlantic, The Impact of the Petraeus Scandal in Afghanistan

Can we stop using pointlessly subjective adjectives like “glamorous” to describe this woman? And when did “socialite” become a functional job title? What does that even tell us about what Jill Kelley actually does? Based on what I’ve read, I’m not exactly a fan of of Jill Kelley (Republican social climbers aren’t really my people) but I don’t think this description belongs in an article from a serious news source about a political scandal. 

Perseverance. It took a few tries, but this turtle kept working until he made it all the way onto the rock. - Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver BC. 

  1. Camera: Canon PowerShot A70
  2. Aperture: f/4.8
  3. Exposure: 1/160th
  4. Focal Length: 107mm

This was beautiful day for a ride through rural South Dakota. We were following the Lewis & Clark trail, on a short self-supported adventure. My dad, and three of his friends and I spent four (well, they did five) days riding along the Western edge of Iowa up to Yankton, South Dakota. The beauty of the Loess Hills in Western Iowa and the amazing open skies in South Dakota are not what most people expect. 

"In Eastern cultures … it’s just assumed that struggle is a predictable part of the learning process. Everyone is expected to struggle in the process of learning, and so struggling becomes a chance to show that you, the student, have what it takes emotionally to resolve the problem by persisting through that struggle."

Fascinating read on different attitudes towards learning in Eastern and Western cultures. It appears that comfort with uncertainty is essential to Eastern mentality, whereas the fear of failure continues to paralyze Western thought.  (via explore-blog)

The article & research also highlights this: 

For example, Stigler says, in the Japanese classrooms that he’s studied, teachers consciously design tasks that are slightly beyond the capabilities of the students they teach, so the students can actually experience struggling with something just outside their reach. Then, once the task is mastered, the teachers actively point out that the student was able to accomplish it through hard work and struggle.

This relates back to what I see as an ongoing deficit in American education - we spend a lot of time concentrating on ensuring that everyone meets a baseline level, but not much challenging the brighter students in the class. As encapsulated: 

Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, himself a conductor and a former wunderkind, remarked dryly, “If Beethoven were sent to nursery school today, they would medicate him, and he would be a postal clerk.”

- From the New York Times Magazine, November 4, 2012: How Do You Raise a Prodigy 

Fall is definitely my favorite season for riding.  Fall is definitely my favorite season for riding.  Fall is definitely my favorite season for riding. 

Fall is definitely my favorite season for riding.